Study Explains Why You Sprain Your Ankle So Often

When the joint moves beyond its normal range of motion, the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are stretched or torn, resulting in an ankle sprain.

Study Explains Why You Sprain Your Ankle So Often

Females were at a higher risk of sustaining an ankle sprain compared with males and children.

Every once in a while, we do end up spraining our ankle. Now, according to a review of ankle sprain studies published in the journal Sports Medicine, most people who actively participate in sports or train regularly can expect a relatively low incidence of ankle sprain per 1,000 hours of training time.

The study is titled, "The Incidence and Prevalence of Ankle Sprain Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Epidemiological Studies" and provides an account of the incidence rate and prevalence period of ankle sprain injury which is not limited by timeframe or context activity. 

The researchers used a systematic review and meta-analyses of English articles using relevant computerised databases. Search terms included "Medical Search Headings for the ankle joint, injury and epidemiology."

Based on an adapted version of the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology) guidelines for rating observational studies, the average rating of all included studies was 6.67/11. There were 116 high-quality studies and 65 low-quality studies.

However, the study further stated, "Females were at a higher risk of sustaining an ankle sprain compared with males and children compared with adolescents and adults, with indoor and court sports the highest risk activity."

When the joint moves beyond its normal range of motion, the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are stretched or torn, resulting in an ankle sprain. An inversion or lateral ankle sprain is the medical term for this.

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As per Science Alert, strong evidence from studies suggests once people sprain their ankle, they are more likely to re-sprain it. "A history of lateral ankle sprain is known to disrupt the structural integrity of the ligaments and sensorimotor function, likely impairing an individual's ability to avoid injurious situations," the outlet quoted a review. 

It also stated that some ankle sprains may appear to be minor, with little swelling or mobility issues. However, some people develop chronic ankle instability, which causes them to re-sprain their ankle repeatedly.

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